David Cross Explains Balance of Indie Cred and Chipmunk Cash

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Hey, did ya see that Chipmunks movie yet? The one that looks like a sub-Garfield brain-dissolving Hollywood CGI cash-in? No? Well, me neither, but it turns out comedian David Cross is in it, which if you’re like me you didn’t know until this bit of news hit Defamer: Cross has posted a lengthy defense of taking Chipmunk money on his website, apparently in response to a dis from Patton Oswalt, who had a part in the considerably-more-highbrow Ratatouille and turned down the part in Chipmunks. The screed is vintage Cross, brutally honest, kind of mixed up, and pretty damn funny:

I knew going into this movie that I would be eating a lot of delicious shit for it. Usually I wouldn’t give a shit about what everyone’s feelings are about it, but I wasn’t prepared for the level, or amount I should say, of vitriol that’s been flung about like so much monkey poo. But then I read Patton’s snide comment in his blog about how he and Brian were offered the part and how they then chucked the script in disgust only to have it hungrily intercepted from it’s intended trajectory into the incinerator by me, a money hungry whore sell out, (I’m paraphrasing).

Cross goes on to defend his taking the part for a variety of “mitigating factors,” including that the movie is for kids so who cares, he doesn’t care about the original “Alvin and the Chipmunks” so who cares, he likes working so who cares, and most amusingly, he wanted to buy a little place in upstate New York and the seller wouldn’t take “credibility and artistic integrity” instead of money. True dat.

I mock Mr. Cross, but I mock because I love. In fact, for me, like many people in somewhat creative fields, the money factor is always a challenge, i.e., how much money overcomes reservations about a gig, and are there gigs you should “just say no” to? Personally, as a DJ, I take on just about everything people ask me to do, passing myself around to corporate parties and cheeseball nightspots like a drunken French whore at a sailor’s bar. Or something. However, I draw the line at weddings, where the wild disparity in age groups means you need a massive library of potential requests ready to go, and if you don’t have the bride’s great aunt’s favorite song you’ve ruined everything. But that’s for my own emotional health, not my “image.” Anyway, thankfully I have enough fun gigs where I get to indulge my creativity that it balances things out, but if McDonalds wanted to pay me $250K to make a mashup for a commercial, what would I do? I don’t know. I want a place in upstate New York! So, is David Cross a sellout, a bad judge of when to sell out, or an awesome dude who’s just trying to get by like everybody else? Any creative types care to weigh in: what’s your price?

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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